By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
For those who think the passage of Obamacare is a “done deal,” Phyllis Schlafly, attorney and long-time conservative activist, calls upon the faithful to remember the key role prayer has played in political struggles in the past.
“In the midst of our current battle against the looming government-takeover of one-sixth of the U.S. economy, I would like to take a few moments to recall an inspiring story from my days fighting against the feminists’ Equal Rights Amendment (ERA),” she wrote in an e-mail alert sent to all members of her Eagle Forum.
The ERA was a constitutional amendment designed by radical feminists who wanted a gender-neutral society in which men and women would be treated exactly the same, no matter how important it might be to respect differences between them. The amendment, which states that “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex,” was the chosen vehicle to achieve this goal.
On the surface, it would seem reasonable to support such an amendment and, as Schlafly explains, most everyone did.
“Unlike our present battle, all ‘the powers that be’ were against us back then – both houses of Congress, three Presidents (Nixon, Ford, and Carter), all of the First Ladies, all the Hollywood celebrities, 99% of the media, and even a large percentage of the American public.”
But there was a dark side to the amendment. As she explains in a 2007 article appearing in The Los Angeles Times, aside from being aligned with pro-abortion/pro-homosexuality groups, the ERA would have actually stripped rights from women.
“ The amendment would require women to be drafted into military combat any time men were conscripted, abolish the presumption that the husband should support his wife and take away Social Security benefits for wives and widows,” Schlafly explains. “It would also give federal courts and the federal government enormous new powers to reinterpret every law that makes a distinction based on gender, such as those related to marriage, divorce and alimony.”
The amendment eventually failed to be ratified in the required 38 states, and one of the most crucial votes took place in the Illinois Legislature.
Schlafly was present on that historic day. “We had done all we could to line up the votes [against the amendment], but we knew we were two votes short,” she said. “As the votes lighted up on the electronic board, we all held our breath in anxiety. Then, a great shout went up from the gallery – ‘We won!’” as the two missing “no” votes miraculously appeared on the board.
Afterward, during an interview with ABC, Eleanor Smeal, then president of the National Organization for Women (NOW) was asked by a reporter “What happened?!”
She replied, “Something very powerful was against us, and I don’t mean people.”
“Eleanor Smeal didn’t know what it was, but we did. We knew that we had the truth on our side and that the good Lord had brought us the votes from the two Chicago legislators who had never voted with us before.”
And so, in the remaining days and hours before the most crucial vote the U.S. Congress will ever cast, “I ask you to pray that Our Lord intercedes in this battle for the future of our nation and that the truth, once again, prevails.”
Her e-mail was signed with this verse from Scripture: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
© All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace® http://www.womenofgrace.com